Fans of Crystal Pepsi received welcome news last summer, when word of an imminent revival of the often-maligned product struck like a bolt out of the blue. At the time, it wasn’t clear when Crystal Pepsi would return, or what form the revival would take, but the curtain has finally been drawn back. Crystal Pepsi is once more among us, but only a select few will actually get to taste it.
Although a limited run of new Crystal Pepsi has been produced, you aren’t going to see it on store shelves any time soon. The entire run is set to be delivered to consumers, but you can’t actually buy it. Instead, Pepsi is distributing the initial, and possibly only, new supply of Crystal Pepsi to winners of a somewhat confusing contest. The contest ran for just one day, which means that if you’re only learning about it, you’re already too late.
The contest was only open to members of Pepsi’s “Pepsi Pass” program, and entry required 1,000 points. So if you weren’t already a member, and hadn’t already amassed more than 1,000 points in Pepsi’s brand loyalty program, the 24 hour time frame of the contest would have probably left you out in the cold anyway.
According to Fox News, 13,000 winners were chosen from the promotion, and each one will receive a pack of Crystal Pepsi in time for Christmas.
The return of Crystal Pepsi may have been in the works behind the scenes for a while, but the #BringBackCrystalPEPSI campaign ran by competitive eater, successful YouTuber, and huge Crystal Pepsi fan LA Beast appears to have played a large role.
LA Beast obtained a catastrophically out of date supply of Crystal Pepsi nearly two years ago, and his YouTube channel features a number of videos that showcase the effects of attempting to consume a soft drink that was, in all likelihood, older than many of his viewers. He launched the #BringBackCrystalPEPSI in April of this year, and this summer he received a letter from Pepsi indicating that his efforts to bring back Crystal Pepsi had been successful.
In fact, once the limited run of new Crystal Pepsi was ready, LA Beast was the very first person to receive any. Pepsi hand-delivered a whole case of the new Crystal Pepsi, along with a smaller amount that was frosty cold and ready to drink.
In addition to the 13,000 winners of Pepsi’s contest, a handful of LA Beast’s viewers will receive a portion of his own supply, and Pepsi provided samples to a number of news outlets. However, it isn’t clear when, or if, the product will actually hit store shelves, or whether the rest of us will even be able to get our hands on it.
Fortune was one of the outlets that received samples, which were offered to millennials who weren’t old enough, if they were even alive yet, to try Crystal Pepsi the first time around. The results weren’t very encouraging, with one of the millennials stating that the soft drink tasted brown, and another suggesting that it didn’t taste too bad compared to cough syrup. The one non-millennial in the group, an admitted fan of Crystal Pepsi, likened the flavor to “a mixture of unicorn tears and rainbows.”
Crystal Pepsi failed the first time around for a number of reasons. One issue was that, like New Coke before it, Pepsi drinkers didn’t take to the idea that their preferred soft drink needed improving. The product also banked on the idea that clear was somehow the same as pure, clean, or healthy, and advertising keyed in on the fact that it contained no artificial coloring, preservatives, or caffeine.
According to LA Beast’s video, which you can view above, the new iteration of Crystal Pepsi is apparently banking more on nostalgia than anything else, as it does contain caffeine, just like Pepsi’s regular old brown cola.
Are you excited to get your hands on some new Crystal Pepsi, if and when it is actually made available for purchase, or is this something that should have stayed in the dustbin of history?
[Image via YouTube]